Chinese Orange Chicken made with crispy fried chicken covered in an authentic orange sauce. The ultimate Chinese Orange Chicken Recipe which is way better than take-out.
My kids are always begging me to take them to grab Chinese food. They are obsessed with orange chicken but I am never really sure what’s in it….especially if they get it from a drive-thru. I wanted to create a version at home, made from scratch, with only ingredients I can pronounce. It still has the same incredible flavor they love. It’s definitely a win-win in our home.
It is winter time in Arizona which means that the citrus is ripe for the picking. I am surrounded by neighbors who have a plethora of fresh oranges and lemons hanging from their trees. This is the perfect time of year to whip up orange and lemon dishes especially this Chinese Orange Chicken.
This Chinese Orange Chicken is made with boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces, dredged, and then fried until golden and crispy. The orange sauce is divine! It is a sweet orange sauce made with orange juice, vinegar, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, red chili flakes, and orange zest. It is both sweet and spicy and full of flavor.
How to make Chinese Orange Chicken at home:
- Start with boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs. Cut into bite-size pieces. Dredge the chicken in whisked eggs and cornstarch/flour mixture until nice and coated. Get these chicken pieces ready for the oil.
- To make your homemade orange sauce, place orange juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and red chili flakes in a small pot and cook over medium-high heat. Add cornstarch and water and cook until thickened. Stir in orange zest.
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When frying foods, it is so helpful to use a thermometer. Let the oil heat up to 350 degrees. Once the oil is ready, in batches, cook chicken for about 2 minutes until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Toss fried chicken with the sweet orange sauce. Top with grated orange zest and green onions. Serve immediately.
- 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 Eggs, whisked
- ⅓ cup Cornstarch
- ⅓ cup Flour
- Oil (for frying)
- Orange Chicken Sauce:
- 1 cup Orange Juice
- ½ cup Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar (or White Vinegar)
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (use tamari for a gluten-free dish)
- ¼ teaspoon Ginger
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder (or 2 garlic cloves, finely diced)
- ½ teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
- Orange Zest, from 1 orange
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- Green Onions
- Orange Zest
- To make orange sauce:
- In a medium pot, add orange juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and red chili flakes. Heat for 3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of water to form a paste. Add to orange sauce and whisk together. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Once the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and add orange zest.
- To make chicken:
- Place flour and cornstarch in a shallow dish or pie plate. Add a pinch of salt. Stir.
- Whisk eggs in shallow dish.
- Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture and then flour mixture. Place on plate.
- Heat 2 -3 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Using a thermometer, watch for it to reach 350 degrees.
- Working in batches, cook several chicken pieces at a time. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, turning often until golden brown. Place chicken on a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat.
- Toss chicken with orange sauce. You may reserve some of the sauce to place on rice. Serve it with a sprinkling of green onion and orange zest, if so desired.
This Orange Chicken is going to make you forget take-out. Let me know how it turns out by reaching out on instagram at @modern_honey. Have a great night, my friends!